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Jury disagrees with murder charge

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Joshua Hammond faces 25 years in prison in connection with Monroe’s death

By Molly Haines

Joshua Hammond could spend 25 years in prison following his involvement in the May 2012 murder of Frankfort’s Charles Monroe.
A Franklin County grand jury handed down its verdict in the trial for Joshua Hammond, 33, May 12.
The jury found Hammond guilty on the charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.
Hammond’s murder charge was amended to reckless homicide.
A sentence of 25 years has been recommended, but a final sentencing has not been held.
If sentenced to 25 years, Hammond would be eligible for parole after 17 and a half years.
Hammond is the son of Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond.
Joshua Hammond, along with David Bruce II and James Simons, allegedly beat and strangled Monroe in what was described by law enforcement as a “drug deal gone bad.”
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland, the three men planned to rob Monroe after buying prescription drugs at the Walmart parking lot on Leonardwood Drive in Frankfort.
Monroe’s body was found along the Interstate 64 eastbound ramp at U.S. 127 on May 5, 2012.
Bruce is serving 20 years after pleading guilty to criminal facilitation to murder, second-degree robbery, second-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.
Simons pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.
Both Bruce and Simons testified against Hammond during the trial.